As we enter a new year, we know one thing for sure: it’s packed full of unknowns. Right?
That doesn’t mean that we should just throw everything up to chance though. There are definitely things we can control, and one of those is our pursuit of God.
Like any relationship, if we leave our God-relationship up to chance – with no real pursuit – then it will lack intimacy any resulting fruit.
Maybe you’re not the type to set New Year’s resolutions (that most don’t follow through with) or even more concrete goals. (Honestly something I’ve always struggled with.) Know that being intentional about the spiritual goals you’d like to achieve in the New Year could absolutely be life-changing.
What goals? Maybe you need to begin the discipline of spending dedicated time in the Word or prayer everyday. Or maybe you want to add to your scripture memory (my favorite goal achievement from last year) or work on being still to listen. Or perhaps you want to focus on living a Spirit-filled life or sharing your faith. Is there a book (or ten) that would encourage your faith you should read? These would all be great aspirations for the New Year!
Of course, don’t forget about your worship life. Is worship an area you’d like to grow in understanding biblically and/or in practice? Whether personal or corporate?
As with any goal, it’s important to start with why it’s important. As we dig into God’s word to see what He says about worship, it’s obvious that it’s of utmost importance to Him. In fact, He doesn’t make it optional for us!
Paul wrote in Philippians 2:9-11:
“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
During His temptation in Matthew 4:8-10, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:13, saying,
“YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.”
It’s important both as healthy, growing believers in Jesus and as the Church
that we get worship right.
If you haven’t already, I’d like to encourage you to make your pursuit of biblical worship a top goal for the new year. Write it down: how do I want to grow, why is this important, and how do I get there? (Michael Hyatt says the mere act of writing down a goal increases the likelihood of you achieving it by 42%!) Then get accountability – maybe someone to do it with you!
I’d also encourage you to write down the things that are holding you back from pursuing a deeper relationship with God. Get honest with yourself – unhealthy beliefs, relationships, or circumstances? List them and write down why and how they can be changed. (Need ideas – ask!) If there’s sin, repent and then leave it at God’s feet as you walk into His victory. Refuse to listen to the enemy’s lies that you can’t grow, or change, or be fruitful!
Remember Paul’s declaration in Ephesians 3:20,
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us," (pause to think: that’s within you and within me - and what’s our response? ➡)“to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (emphasis mine).
Want to learn more? Then I invite you to begin this new year by being intentional about your pursuit of God and biblical worship. And I’d like to invite you to do that by going through my study, Worship and the Word, either alone or with others. Either way, you’ll find it will both challenge and encourage you to passionately pursue and intimately engage the God of the Bible in worship! It’s a personal study that changed my life!
Let’s step into an unknown future with life-changing intentionality!
May you “be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19) in the New Year! Pam
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